Friday, December 4, 2009

Tea & Health: Beyond Chemistry?

A post on Vicki's Nutritonal and Wellness Blog draws attention to a study that found that positive emotions and positive attitude actually has more of an impact on health than nutrition. Negative attitude, stress, anger, and that whole complex of feelings and ways of being are associated with a myriad of negative impacts on health.

The health benefits of tea are frequently touted, and some of them (such as antioxidant activity) have become fairly well-established scientifically. But nearly all of the studies I've found about these benefits focus on the biochemical aspects of tea.

Could the health benefits of tea be partly due to how making and drinking tea slows you down?

It seems almost too common-sense to be true...a cup of hot can't chug it on the run...even if you're in a hurry you need to slow down to sip it, you need to wait to let it cool. And if you make it yourself, even from a hot water tap in an office, you need to take time out of your day to brew it. It slows you down, relaxes you, helps you let go some of that stress and get into a better place...

Maybe some of the health benefits of tea stem not from the chemistry of the drink itself, but from the process of making and drinking it, and the effect that process has on your mind and body. This would certainly not be any news to those versed in eastern philosophy or Chinese medicine...but to an overly-scientific western mind, it's an innovative idea...and it would certainly be worth it for the scientists to give it some consideration.

Just a thought!


  1. And a great thought at that, Alex. Thanks for this. I recently addressed this very issue in my video on using a French press to infuse tea. We need to keep in mind the healing ritual of tea, which goes far beyond biochemistry.

  2. I'd say that tea improves mood also, so that's going to be a factor in its giving better health.